Today the California State Athletic Commission passed emergency procedures allowing combat sports to resume. These set the parameters for when events can be held “When an Infectious Disease Causes a State of Emergency“.
I have checked with Andy Foster, the Executive Director of the CSAC, who confirms that “They have passed.”
Below are the full adopted procedures:
- 299.5. Procedures to Hold Combative Sporting Events When an Infectious Disease Causes a State of Emergency
As determined and noticed by the California State Athletic Commission, (Commission) this regulation shall apply to an Event (defined below) held during any state of emergency stemming from an infectious disease declared by the State of California as a public health emergency, including, but not limited to, the Novel Corona Virus 19 (COVID-19) in 2020 and shall be in place until the Commission notices that such regulations are no longer applicable because the emergency is no longer present. For purposes of this section, determination by the Commission shall be at a publicly noticed meeting subject to Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act and such notices shall be posted on the Commission’s website.
It is the responsibility of the Promoter to brief all Event and Event Venue Personnel about the following procedures for an Event. Personnel that do not comply with these procedures shall not be permitted to enter or remain at the Venue premises or Host Accommodation(s) during any part of the Event. Any definitions within this section shall have the same meaning as set forth in Division 2 of Title 4, unless otherwise defined herein.
The following definitions apply for this section:
- “Event” is defined as all bouts, matches, contests and the like subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission that are held during a during a state of emergency.
- “Face coverings” are defined as personal protective equipment or gear as determined necessary by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for the specific infectious disease at issue, at a minimum covering the nose and mouth, which usage and type should follow CDC guidelines for the infectious disease that is the subject of the then-current state of emergency declared by the State of California.
- Host Accommodation” or “Accommodation” are defined as a designated hotel, motel or other place of lodging as identified by the Promoter and approved by the Commission.
- “Isolation” is defined as the separation of a person from other persons in a manner that minimizes and restricts such person’s interaction with others to avoid exposure to the infectious disease.
- “Medical Personnel” is defined as Ringside Physicians and Paramedics, along with any other medically trained and licensed personnel that must attend any activity at the Event.
- “Officials” are defined as Commission personnel including Lead Athletic Inspector, Athletic Inspectors, Ringside Officials (judges, referees, timekeepers and any other personnel deemed necessary by the Commission’s Executive Officer).
- “Personnel” is defined as person present at the Event in an essential capacity, including, but not limited to Commission personnel, promoter, promoter personnel, officials, athletes, seconds, media and television crew.
- “Vehicle” is defined as the mode of transportation to/from an Event, Host Accommodation(s) and/or Venue used by Personnel.
- “Venue” is defined as the sporting event location for the subject Event.
- Health and Safety Procedures.
The Promoter shall provide specific training, prior to the Event, on specific health and safety protocols for the infectious disease that is the subject of the then-current state of emergency declared by the State of California and shall certify, in writing, to the Commission that it meets or exceeds the then-applicable protocols deemed necessary and/or recommended by the CDC for the applicable infectious disease and in consultation with the CDPH and the Advisory Committee on Medical and Safety Standards [“Medical Advisory Committee” (MAC)].
- Physical Distancing.
- The Venue and Host Accommodation(s) shall agree to and implement physical distancing protocols determined necessary by the CDC, pursuant to the then-current CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting, available online at cdc.gov, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and/or the applicable county health officer’s guidance in the jurisdiction(s) where the Event is being held and/or where the Personnel are housed.
- Athletes, along with their licensed seconds (cornermen), shall travel separately from other Personnel or participants to the Event location (city, Host Accommodation(s), and Venue), unless they are part of the same household.
- When arriving at the Venue, athletes and their licensed seconds shall maintain at least a six (6) foot distance from other persons, unless the applicable CDC guidelines recommend a more restrictive distancing.
- Athletes and their licensed seconds (cornermen) shall be assigned space in locker rooms in which they can maintain at least a six (6) foot physical distance from other athletes and their seconds, unless the applicable CDC guidelines recommend a more restrictive distancing, or be assigned space in another area large enough to comply with CDC guidelines, and/or CDPH current physical distancing guidelines, available online at cdph.ca.gov, whichever is deemed by the Commission to provide the best protection to all Personnel at Event proceedings. The Commission will make these determinations based upon the specific layout and design of the Venue and as Event conditions may change during the Event.
- Physical distancing guidelines require maintaining at least six (6) feet of distance from others, unless the applicable CDC guidelines for the infectious disease recommends a more restrictive distancing. Applicable physical distancing must be maintained during the weigh-in, where all people present must also wear Face Coverings.
- All Personnel shall remain on premises at the Host Accommodation(s) until departure to the Venue of the Event. If Personnel leave the Host Accommodation(s), they shall not be re-admitted to the Host Accommodation(s) before conclusion of the Event or be admitted into the Venue.
- Promoter shall ensure Host Accommodation(s) designate(s) Host Accommodation(s) staff to accept and distribute food to Host Accommodation(s) rooms pursuant to applicable CDC standards (CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting).
- All Personnel shall remain on premises at the Venue each day of the Event until the Commission approved departure time and shall not be permitted to re-enter the Venue once they exit the All Personnel, except athletes, shall not use Host Accommodation(s) spas, pools, or fitness facilities.
- Face Coverings and Gloves.
As applicable to the subject infectious disease, enough disposable gloves or any other disposable items deemed necessary by the CDC for the applicable infectious disease, shall be supplied by the Promoter to its Personnel to allow Personnel to change such items, as needed. All Personnel shall have their own face coverings supplied by the Promoter and shall not share. All Personnel, except for the athletes during their applicable bouts, contests, or matches, are required to wear a Face covering that covers their nose and mouth and any other areas recommended by the CDC for the applicable infectious disease. Promoter shall ensure that all Personnel wear gloves and face coverings in connection with their job functions, including the Host Accommodation(s) staff and the staff at the Venue and Event. Promoter shall train its Personnel on the proper use of face coverings, including:
- Face coverings do not necessarily protect the wearer.
- Face coverings can help protect people near the wearer, but do not replace the need for physical distancing and frequent handwashing or any other recommended activity identified by the CDC to minimize the spread of the applicable infectious disease.
- Face coverings shall cover the nose and mouth, at a minimum.
- Personnel shall wash or sanitize hands before and after using or adjusting face coverings.
- Personnel shall avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Face coverings shall be washed or discarded after each use.
- Infectious Disease Advance Screening and Testing.
- All Personnel present at the Event shall be subject to testing of the applicable infectious disease prior to the Event within a timeframe that is deemed acceptable by the Commission given the type of infectious disease and utilizing a reliable form of the test available prior to the Event as determined by the Executive Officer of the Commission in consultation with CDPH or its equivalent.
- Promoters shall be responsible for the cost of the infectious disease testing for all Personnel.
- Specifically, with regard to COVID-19 testing, the Commission has partnered with Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) to conduct COVID-19 testing; however, Promoters may use another licensed certified laboratory for infectious disease testing to test for COVID-19 or any other applicable infectious disease, provided the licensed certified laboratory is approved by the Commission, prior to its use.
- Promoters shall be aware that if the test results of any Personnel (including athletes and seconds), indicate that the Personnel are positive for the infectious disease, the Personnel shall be excluded from the Event. In addition, the entire Event may be cancelled, at the sole discretion of the Commission, after considering the health risks to Personnel at the Event.
- Unless notified by the Commission, in writing, within a reasonable timeframe given the type of infectious disease of an alternative timeframe, prior to submitting a bout card to the Commission for approval, the Promoter(s) shall complete the following no later than 14 days prior to the Event or earlier than 21 days prior to the Event:
- All athletes shall be tested for the infectious disease causing the public health emergency and the results of the test shall be submitted to the Commission for review and approval within 24-hours of issuance of the test results.
- Submit a completed Commission “COVID-19/Infectious Disease Pre-Event Screening Questionnaire” (Rev. 5/2020) (Questionnaire), incorporated herein for reference, for each athlete with the bout card, or an equivalent Questionnaire that may be revised from time to time to address the then-current infectious disease, but only after being approved and adopted by the Commission through a publicly noticed meeting under the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act and subsequently posted on the Commission’s website (collectively, “Questionnaire”).
- If there are any infectious disease related health issues or concerns found on the Questionnaire, the Commission’s Executive Officer or medical personnel may require additional testing.
- 48 Hours prior to travelling to the promotion’s host city/ Host Accommodation(s), the Promoter(s) must have the following completed:
- Submit a completed Questionnaire for all Event Personnel. All Personnel shall be asked if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 or other infectious disease that is the subject of the then-current state of emergency declared by the State of California. If there are any infectious disease related health issues or concerns found on the Questionnaire, the Commission may require additional testing.
- The Personnel shall have their temperature taken and anyone with a temperature at or greater than 100.4˚ F or that display other health indicators related to COVID-19 or other infectious disease that is the subject of the then-current state of emergency declared by the State of California, that Personnel shall not proceed to the Event city or Host Accommodation(s) if their infectious disease test proves positive.
- If there is any discrepancy and/or potential incorrect temperature reading, the Personnel can be re-tested, at the discretion of the Commission, prior to travel.
- Unless revised under paragraph (A) above or paragraph (H) below, all Personnel shall arrive at the Host Accommodation(s) at least 24-hours prior to the scheduled start time of the official weigh-in and abide by the following, unless Personnel must arrive sooner to ensure there is sufficient time to perform the applicable infectious disease testing:
- Upon arrival to the Host Accommodation(s), all Personnel shall remain in their Vehicle until directed by Commission personnel to the designated screening area for symptom and temperature screening and infectious disease testing.
- If any Personnel present with a temperature at or greater than 100.4˚ F or display other health indicators related to the infectious disease that is the subject of the then-current state of emergency declared by the State of California, that Personnel shall not be permitted to enter the Venue or remain on Host Accommodation(s) premises.
- Upon satisfactory symptom and temperature screening, or screening for any other health indicators related to the infectious disease that is the subject of the then-current state of emergency declared by the State of California, including COVID-19, that Personnel shall then undergo the infectious disease test and shall be required to remain self-isolated, as per CDC and CDPH guidance, at the Host Accommodation(s), until the results of the infectious disease test are received by Commission medical staff from the laboratory.
- The infectious disease test results shall be returned to the designated Commission personnel for review prior to the athlete and the athlete’s seconds reporting to the official weigh-in.
- Upon receipt of the infectious disease test results, the Commission medical staff shall review the results. All Personnel with negative test results for the infectious disease can proceed to the weigh-in.
- Any Personnel with a positive infectious disease test result should be immediately isolated and should not travel back to the Personnel’s home city using public transportation. If any Promoter personnel, officials, athletes, seconds, media or television crew test positive for the infectious disease, it shall be the Promoter’s responsibility to get that person(s) home safely. If any Commission personnel test positive for the infectious disease, it shall be the Commission’s responsibility to get that person(s) home safely. Home is defined as the location that the Personnel identifies as their city of residence.
- All Personnel that test negative for the infectious disease will be issued an identifiable wristband or other type of identifying tracker by the Promotor and approved by the Commission that shall always be worn and visible for inspection until the conclusion of the Event. Such identifiable tracker shall be issued for each day of the Event, such that the tracker shall be able to be differentiated between previously issued trackers provided on other days and dates of the Event to which the tracker applies. All Personnel shall not be allowed to enter the weigh-in or the Venue without the appropriate tracker.
- All Personnel shall be instructed to remain in their Host Accommodation(s) rooms, until travelling to the Venue, except for the weigh-in, and as allowed by the Commission, in writing.
- Promoters shall provide 24-hour security to ensure that those required to be self-isolated do not leave the Host Accommodation(s) until traveling to the Venue.
(H) Notwithstanding paragraph (G) above, any Personnel deemed to be non-essential by the Commission for the weigh-in shall be allowed to arrive at the Host Accommodation(s) no later than 24-hours prior to the Event, so long as the non-essential weigh-in Personnel’s only duties occur during the day of the Event and only after those non-essential Personnel’s testing is negative for the subject infectious disease. All isolation and other activities described in paragraph (G) above shall apply to the non-essential weigh-in Personnel described in this paragraph.
- Cleaning/Sanitation of Host Accommodation(s) and Venue.
- The Promoter shall be responsible for coordinating with the Host Accommodation(s) and Venue on a cleaning and disinfection plan that meets the then-current CDC cleaning and disinfecting standards applicable for the infectious disease. At least four (4) hours prior to the arrival of any Personnel at either the Host Accommodation(s) and/or Venue, Promoter in consultation with the Host Accommodation(s) and/or Venue, shall provide Commission a “Proof of Compliance” that such Host Accommodation(s) and Venue has met or exceeded such applicable standards.
(B) The event Venue shall be cleaned and disinfected prior to the Event. Some key elements include, but are not limited to:
- All surfaces, including the ring or cage mat and padded areas shall be disinfected with disinfectants effective against coronaviruses and/or any other infectious disease that is the subject of the then-current state of emergency declared by the State of California and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to product instructions, following each bout. If possible, best efforts will be made to keep the mat in a non-slip condition between bouts.
- All tables, chairs and stools around the ring or cage shall be disinfected with disinfectants against coronaviruses and/or any other infectious disease that is the subject of the then-current state of emergency declared by the State of California, and approved by the EPA, according to product instructions, before and after each user.
- In the corner, between rounds, best efforts shall be made to avoid potential transmission of the subject infectious disease to others outside of the ring.
- If possible, items shall not be shared, but if items or surfaces are shared, they shall be regularly cleaned and disinfected, between each bout or between users, whichever is more frequent.
- Disinfectants used must be identified to be effective against emerging viral pathogens on the EPA-approved list for the infectious disease. Employees shall be trained on manufacturer’s directions and California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) and CDPH requirements for safe use.
- Hand sanitizer containing 70% or more alcohol and operating dispensers shall be placed in all traffic areas, at various Event locations, at the Host Accommodation(s) and Venue, unless guidelines provided by the CDC require a higher standard of alcohol be present, in which case such dispensers will contain the CDC required amount.
- Non-latex gloves shall be placed in all traffic areas at various locations at the Host Accommodation(s) and Venue.
- Athletic Resources.
- Promoters shall arrange with the Host Accommodation(s) exclusive use of the gymnasium/work out room (if one is available) for athlete use subject to a schedule that shall ensure physical distancing protocols set by CDC, the State of California and/or applicable county health officer are met.
- The gymnasium/work out room at the Host Accommodation(s) shall be cleaned and disinfected prior to each athlete’s use per applicable CDC cleaning and disinfecting standards.
- Promoter shall establish a written schedule for use of the gymnasium/work out room, that shall be submitted to the Commission and each athlete no later than 48-hours prior to the weigh-in, listing all workout times for the athletes and their licensed seconds to use the gymnasium/work out room. Sufficient time between the aforementioned workout times shall be provided to the Host Accommodation(s) to clean and disinfect the gymnasium/workout room as described above.
- Promoters shall ensure Referees have access to a private room/shower that has been properly disinfected and remains unused by any other individuals during the entirety of the competition at the Venue.
- General Event Operations.
- The Commission will regulate Events with only its essential Personnel which shall be the following:
- Ringside Physicians
- Lead Athletic Inspector
- Athletic Inspectors
- Ringside Officials (judges, referees, timekeepers and any other personnel deemed necessary by the Commission’s Executive Officer)
- Promoters shall operate Events with only its essential Personnel determined by the Promoter and approved by the Commission.
- Seven (7) days prior to the Event, Promoters shall submit to the Commission a list of names of the essential Personnel and their role at the Event.
- The forgoing lists of Personnel shall be submitted, in writing, by the Promotor’s designated contact with the Commission.
- After the athletes and their licensed seconds have completed their bout and the athlete has been medically cleared by the ringside physician, athletes and their seconds or team shall return to the Host Accommodation(s).
- All paramedic staff shall be trained and required to test, as outlined by CDC and CDPH guidelines, by their employer for the infectious disease that is the subject of the then-current state of emergency declared by the State of California.
- Any fighter that is injured and requires hospitalization shall travel directly to the hospital. The non-essential Personnel related to the injured fighter shall return directly to the Host Accommodation(s).
- Personnel seated ring/cage side shall be placed at least six (6) feet back from the ring/cage perimeter and one another behind some form of physical barrier such as a table, barricade, etc., unless the applicable infectious disease at the time requires placement further than six (6) feet, in which case the then-applicable CDC physical placement shall apply. Judges shall be seated ring/cage side behind a plexiglass, clear shatterproof and impermeable barrier or provided with a clear face shield or clear safety goggles with a Commission approved Face covering provided by the Promoter that will protect them from being impacted by bodily fluids expelled from the ring/cage. Judges shall be seated at least six (6) feet away from each other or at a distance required by the CDC, applicable to the then-current infectious disease.
Note: Authority cited: Sections 18611 and 18705.5, Business and Professions Code.
Reference cited: Sections 18640, 18700, 18706, 18711, and 18732, Business and Professions Code. State of California Resiliency Roadmap, Phase III (April 28, 2020). CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting, available online at www.cdc.gov.